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About the Darden Program

 

The case method

Why is the Case Method great for Israeli students?

A day in the life of a first-year Darden student

Are there majors at Darden?

 

 

 

The Case Method:

Darden is a unique business school that centers around developing well-rounded, world-class leaders, through use of the case method and a rigorous academic program. As an Israeli student coming to the US for an MBA, the case method is a great way to enhance your leadership and communication skills, and get to know the business culture up close (as well as other business cultures), through the study of real-world cases.
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How does the case method work?

The case method enables students learn from real life situations and dilemmas that real executives in different stages of their careers. Darden is a 100% case school, which means all topics are covered via cases. A typical case could be to decide weather to choose investment A or investment B, to determine which strategy a company should pursue, how to market a new product, how to manage a difficult employee, and many more. Cases are typically real-life decisions that real executives in real companies needed to make. Darden students are encouraged to analyze cases from various aspects: financial, strategic, operational, marketing, organizational behavior, and more — giving students a well-rounded general management perspective that assists them in their decision making for their entire careers — while giving unmatched technical skills in the various subjects.  Students analyze the dilemma and data in the case, and discuss it in learning teams and in the classroom.

 

Click on the following links to view videos of actual in-classroom case method discussions:

Professor Peter Rodriguez in a case on the Chilean economic crisis

Professor Luann Lynch in a case in managerial accounting

 

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Why is the case method great for Israeli students? 

Beyond the value of the case method itself, Israeli and other international students benefit from the following:

1. an opportunity to discuss cases every single day with your learning team and in the classroom, thus enabling you to substantially improve your persuasive and public speaking skills in English (and in general), and making you feel more comfortable and become more a more effective leader for the rest of your career, in any meeting room, board room, conference call, or team environment.

2. An opportunity to learn up-close about real American and global companies. Rather than using a text-book with generic names like “Company A wants to produce gadget B”, you will get closely familiar with the business models, financials, actual dilemmas, and other business aspects of real companies, ranging from Apple to Pepsico to Toyota and hundreds of others in a broad range of industries.

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A Day in the life of a Darden first-year student:

8am-1.10pm:  in the classroom. A typical day includes 3 classes in the morning. First year courses include Finance, Accounting, Marketing, Leading Organizations, Strategy, Entrepreneurship, Management Communications, and more. During class you will discuss the cases that were given to you the day before, with the professors generally guiding the discussion and helping students find the answers on their own, rather than giving them out.

 

 

First Coffee: between the first and second sessions of each day, at 930, the vast majority of students congregate at the Pepsico forum – the school’s entrance hall, where free coffee and often free breakfast is served, compliments or recruiting companies. This is a chance for students to catch up with each other, network, and just have nice time. This tradition of networking and establishing a close-knit community is beneficial to all, but even more so for international students who are less accustomed to the American way of networking.

 

 

 

1:15-2.30pm: Company Briefings. Various companies come to Darden to recruit students, both for summer internships and full-time jobs. In these the sessions, company executives, in many cases Darden Alumni themselves, talk about their companies, the positions they offer, what they look for in candidates, and more. This also an opportunity for students to ask questions of the recruiters and network with the executives. Also, to make sure they get your attention, these companies will usually provide free lunch to participating students – always a nice thing given your busy schedule!

 

2.30pm-6.30pm: this is your time to work on your own. During this 4 hour window you will read the three cases for tomorrow, start analyzing them, create the materials required such as spreadsheets, and more.  Also, during this window you will often do job-search related activities such as meeting with the Career Development Center to polish your resume or brush up on your interview skills; email or call alumni to chat about career opportunities; and more. On busy days, these four hours will fly by. On less busy ones, you may be able to squeeze in an hour to go to the gym or spend a little down-time with your family. Some students prefer to stay on grounds during these hours, while others prefer to do the work from home.

 

6.30pm-7:45pm: club meetings or more company briefings. Darden has numerous clubs, both career focused and social/cultural. In club meetings you can gain access to valuable resources for your job search, or contribute to the vibrant community at Darden. Also, during this slot, there are additional Company Briefings, and occasionally cocktail receptions or dinners with recruiting companies.

 

8pm-11pm: Learning Team. The Learning team is Darden tradition, and your lifeline during the first year. The amount of work given to you every day is too much for any one person to tackle completely on their, given the busy schedule and numerous recruiting events. The learning team is a way to share load, learn how to work better in a team environment, and have access to the other students’ skill sets, which may differ from your own. In fact a lot of what you learn will come directly from your fellow students who have experience in different fields. A typical learning team is very diverse, comprising of people for different backgrounds and countries. The solutions and recommendations you com up with in learning team, are the ones you will talk about the next morning in class.

 

11pm: go home and get some rest for the next day, or grab a couple of drinks with your friends.

Despite the busy schedule, Darden students always find the time to have fun, especially on weekends. Read more on Fun @ Darden.

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Are there majors at Darden?  

While Darden does not offer official majors — as part of it’s approach to train well-rounded executives who can always see the big picture — students can select as many electives as they would like in a certain field primarily in the second year. This guarantees that you will not only graduate from Darden with a broad understanding of high level issues that concern companies, but also with superb analytical skills in areas like finance, strategy, operations, marketing, and yes, even accounting.
Additional links to the Darden website academic program page.

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Please contact us at: info@dardenisrael.com